Curriculum changes for the humanities, social science, and science departments were approved during the Academic Affairs Committee meeting last Monday. The committee also discussed future plans for increasing experiential learning opportunities for UTM students.

A total of 76 new half-courses and two new full-courses were added. Some minor changes passed at the meeting involve prerequisite changes in philosophy, as the new requirements will now include PHL101H5 and PHL102H5 as options. Other changes involve course name and course description changes. The humanities department will also continue hiring new faculty to lower the student to faculty ratio.

According to the item’s proposal, “The new courses being proposed reflect two aspects of UTM teaching: first, the generally heightened level of attention to course offerings as a result of curriculum mapping initiatives being undertaken in all UTM units; and second, the continued hiring of new faculty members to improve student-faculty ratios and fill current gaps in teaching expertise.”

Changes to the sciences department consisted of 46 minor program changes, 23 new half-courses, and one full-year course. There were changes in course descriptions and prerequisites, and in admission requirement changes. Additionally, new internship opportunities have been added, including the introduction of seven new courses , which will be offered on a rotating basis.

“Among the notable changes are new program admission requirements to streamline admissions across all departmental programs, the introduction of experiential learning opportunities (new internship course), and an early computational training course (Introduction to Scientific Computing),” the curriculum report reads.

Proposals for curriculum changes also included calls a potential inter-disciplinary program from the Health Science field from Biology in addition to a new stream in the Medicinal Chemistry program from CPS.

Changes to the social science curriculum affected 21 programs. Changes were made in economics in order to simplify the requirements.

“The deleted courses serve to streamline our course offerings as most of these courses have either not been offered in many years, have seen similar course content covered in other existing courses, are no longer required for programs, or do not have faculty teaching support. The suite of proposed courses, on the other hand, will significantly increase course options for our students. The new courses reflect the expertise and interests of new faculty hires as well as new areas proposed by existing faculty.”

Another new course will also be introduced to a new field of study called social coding, which is hoped to be become a program of study in the future.

UTM Abroad has brought forward new opportunities for all three departments in order to increase the number of international opportunities for students.

“To help students identify courses with international components and further develop their global perspective, new course designators have been introduced in the Academic Calendar. Courses with required and optional international components will now feature the INTLR and INTLO designation, respectively. An additional, standard statement will be included in the course description of these courses to further signal the international component,” the report reads.

Professor Michael Lettieri, UTM’s vice dean of academic experience also presented developments regarding UTM’s opportunities for experiential learning. UTM is planning to increase opportunities in experiential learning in order to give students more hands-on experience.

Amrita Daniere, the vice-principal, academic and dean also remarked on the progress of UTM’s academic plan. The academic plan outlines the focus on literacy, writing, and numeracy skills, as well as sustainability pathways for students. The plan was meant to give UTM a guide for future development in education and research.

UTM has also started working on an electronic tool called Dashboard, which will allow users to remain updated in real time with different committee meetings and their outcomes. The tools is designed to notify students of any changes that committees make. Daniere stated that this is expected to be up and running by the end of the Winter 2018 term.

The next Academic Affairs committee meeting will take place on February 12, 2018.